Look out, America. Melanie Phillips is coming.
The land of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin is braced for a new right-wing commentator - after the Daily Mail columnist launched plans to bring her particular worldview to readers on the other side of the Atlantic.
Yesterday she launched a US-focused ebook publishing company called emBooks, a branch of of Melanie Phillips Electric Media LLC, which will provide a platform for a range of authors, as well as Phillips’ own memoir Guardian Angel: My Story, My Britain.
Branded merchandise, including baseball caps, umbrellas and tote bags are also available from her new website.
“What you’re getting is not just a set of books, you’re getting a particular viewpoint that is associated with me,” she told The Independent yesterday. Phillips, who recently described Barack Obama as a “sulky narcissist with close links to people with a history of thuggish, far-left, black-power, Jew-bashing, west-hating politics”, may hope to find a receptive audience among America’s Tea Party-aligned conservatives.
But she insisted that she was aiming for a more highbrow audience. “I’m certainly not setting myself up as a figurehead and certainly not in the Sarah Palin or Rush Limbaugh model,” she said. “My model is much more the kind of people who read The Wall Street Journal, the kind of people who are thoughtful – the centre ground rather than the red-in-tooth-and-claw political right.”
Phillips said that her goal was to open up public debate “with a different set of voices and a different set of attitudes”.
The first five emBooks to be published include Decoding Your 21st Century Daughter: The Anxious Parent’s Guide to Raising a Teenage Girl by British head teacher Helen Wright; Snap: Has Brain Research Reached its Breaking Point? by physician James Le Fanu; and Diana’s Baby: Kate, William and the Repair of a Broken Family by fellow Daily Mail columnist Angela Levin.
“I do think that western society is in quite a lot of serious trouble and I want to forge a way of addressing these problems that brings people together rather than pushing people apart,” Phillips said.
Although she will continue to write for the Daily Mail and appear as a panellist on BBC Radio 4’s Moral Maze, Phillips said that along with setting up the company in America, she would be engaging more closely with US politics.
“I’ve always looked further than Britain,” she said. “This is not an ordinary e-publishing company, I’m not simply publishing books, as any ebook company would, just because they’re interesting and I think they’re going to sell. That’s part of it, but that’s not all of it. It’s very much to do with putting across my general take on the world.”